Sports — 06 February 2019
Upset at the MCC; BDF, 1-nil, over Verdes

BDF FC gains first victory; Verdes FC suffers first defeat in PLB 2018-2019 Closing Season

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 4, 2019– It looks like we have one heck of a competition coming up in this Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2018-2019 Closing Season, which has just completed Week 4, and already every team has posted at least one victory, with only defending champion Bandits Sports still undefeated, but they have drawn twice.  (See Week 4 standings below.)

That milestone was accomplished yesterday, Sunday, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, where formerly winless BDF FC stunned league-leading and then undefeated Verdes FC, 1-nil, with a 74th minute “contra golpe” goal. It was a quick outlet pass following a failed Verdes attack in the northern goal that saw BDF’s young speedster Jesse August, a second half substitute, on a breakaway just past the half-way line and heading south. Verdes’ recently acquired Mexican goalkeeper Rodrigo Vasquez alertly left his goal to try and intercept the play, but August skillfully eluded him and directed a grounder between the sticks from the edge of the eighteen before the recovering Verdes defenders could block him. It was a shocking turnaround in a game that was dominated by Verdes for most of second half. The goal came a couple minutes after Verdes’ key utility player, Jarret Davis was hobbled by a re-injured left ankle and had to leave the game. Verdes seemed to have an equalizing opportunity in injury time, when referee Juan Baeza first indicated a penalty following a corner kick and scramble in front of the BDF goal, but changed his mind after consulting with his linesman. Some fans in the vicinity agreed it was not a penalty; and BDF held on for the surprising 1-nil victory.

It was the same score in the only PLB game played the previous night, on Saturday in Independence, where the visiting San Pedro Pirates FC came away with a 1-nil win over Assassins Altitude FC on a 77th minute goal by midfielder Jesse Smith.

The two other Sunday games were both come-from-behind victories. At the Victor Sanchez Union Field in Punta Gorda, Jaren Lambey (5’) struck early for home standing Freedom Fighters FC; but it wasn’t enough, as defending champion Bandits Sport came up second half goals from Jerome “Jarro” James (52’) and Jerry Palacios (65’), to secure the 2-1 road win. And at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, visiting Wagiya FC got on the scorecard first, but ended up losing by a 3-2 score to Police United FC. Belmopan original, Highking Roberts (17’ & 69’) struck twice for Wagiya; but Police United got a goal apiece from Byron Usher (21’), Harrison “Cafu” Roches (35’) and Andres “J.R.” Makin (74’).

Some interesting match-ups in upcoming Week 5:  Bandits challenge Verdes for the standings lead, and Freedom Fighters tussle with BDF to try and come out of the cellar.

Week 5 schedule
Saturday, February 9
7:30 p.m. – San Pedro Pirates FC vs Wagiya Sporting Club  –  Ambergris Stadium
7:30 p.m. – Assassins Altitude FC vs Police United FC  –  M.A. Stadium
8:00 p.m. – Bandits Sport vs Verdes FC  –  Isidoro Beaton Stadium
Sunday, February 10
4:00 p.m. – Freedom Fighters FC vs BDF FC  –  Victor Sanchez Union Field

Feature photo: – BDF strikers, scorer Jesse August (r) with arms outstretched and temmate Kelker Palacio (l) celebrate the only goal of the game

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Deshawn Swasey

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